History of Case Crew's Death Row T-shirt


Old eath Row T-shirt Back
1992 Design - Back

Old eath Row T-shirt Front
1992 Design - Front

Case Crew's Death Row T-Shirt has been around since 1992 when the team needed a fund raiser. (The front of the 1992 shirt is above and the back is shown to the left.) The Cuyahoga River is the opposite of straight and the steering challenges are compounded by the fact that 600 foot long lake freighters ply the river as well. These lake freighters have claimed a number of shells throughout the years. The original design shown here on a gray shirt sold well, but in 1994 the team was looking for a fresh look. At the time the second shirt design was created, Kristine Baggett-Short '86, MBA '92 was the club's faculty advisor and her husband, Kim Short, was also active in the Cleveland rowing scene. Kim just happened to be a gifted artist and the team approached him for some t-shirt ideas.

The club paid Kim a couple hundred dollars and he gave us the design you see below with four skeletons being chased by a freighter. The shirt design has proven so popular that it is still produced today and can be ordered from the Cafe Press Web Site. The WRRA boathouse where we rowed out of was next to the Carter Road bridge, which was the inspiration for the bridge in the Death Row shirt. Also, almost the entire length of the Cuyahoga where we rowed was lined with the corrugated steel bulkheads in the image. On the original shirts, the "Death Row" banner text on the back of the shirt was in red. More recent versions of the shirt are just black and white as below.

The front of the current shirt design is shown to the right and was created by Owen Vande Velde '96. Owen and a couple other alums made the trek to Boston and a Head of the Charles Regatta. Owen had the idea that a pencil rubbing from an old head stone would tie in nicely with the Death Row theme. They found an old cemetery in Cambridge and made the scull-with-wings rubbing that is now on the front of the shirt. The original shirts had "CWRU Crew" written on them with the "CWRU" above the logo in a semi-circle to follow the contour of the graphic. Recent versions of the shirt have the "CWRU" removed to appeal to a wider audience and to avoid having to share the income with Case's athletic department. The proceeds from the shirt now benefit SARA directly and ultimately Case Crew.

Death Row T-shirt Front
1994 Design - Front

You can buy your own Death Row paraphernalia with the current design by visiting this link to the Cafe Press Web Site.

Death Row T-shirt Back
1994 Design - Back

- Lisa Pfaff '95, G'96 & Doug Rathburn '97, G'00



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Death Row T-shirt
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Last modified: March 26, 2007